BARRIE, ON, Aug. 22, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) President Rob Jamieson called for the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to end the practice of subjecting police officers to lengthy investigations when an officer administers naloxone to a member of the public in medical distress and where that attempt at life-saving first-aid is ultimately unsuccessful.
"Subjecting police officers across Ontario to full investigations in these cases is not reasonable or fair," said Jamieson. "Our members do what every other first responder would do in these situations – they try to save a life. But when they use naloxone and the victim does not survive, they know that a long and stressful investigation by the SIU will soon follow. Putting an officer through a traumatic situation, then asking them to relive that very trauma through the SIU investigation could be detrimental to their mental health."
Despite these investigations, Jamieson was clear that his members will continue to administer naloxone if and when they encounter someone in need.
"Our members are highly trained and will continue to act professionally in these situations, as they always do, and administer naloxone to a person in need but make no mistake – there is a very high level of concern amongst our members that they will end up being the subject of an SIU investigation for simply doing their job and trying to save a life."
Jamieson called for a common sense approach in how the SIU applies its mandate in these situations similar to what is practiced in British Columbia, where the Independent Investigations Office has exempted officers who are involved in providing life saving measures that ultimately prove unsuccessful.
"Oversight of police is important and our members have always supported reasonable, fair and effective oversight of police. What we are seeing in these cases is a process that is none of these things and that needs to change."
About the Ontario Provincial Police Association
Headquartered in Barrie, the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) acts as the bargaining agent for its nearly 10,000 uniform and civilian members. Of equal importance, the OPPA serves as the voice of its members in advocating for improved health and safety standards and better supports for members suffering from operational stress injuries.
SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police Association
For further information: Media inquiries: Rob Jamieson, President, Ontario Provincial Police Association, 705-984-6772, [email protected]